Team

The San Antonio Spurs won the 2007 NBA Championship. It is their fourth title since the NBA had a lock out prior to the 1999 season. The team isn’t guided by someone that dominates statistically. The team dominates by having no single strength or weakness. They do everything very well, not great, but that is the point. Add all those very goods up and you get great. That is also why they are enduring team. There isn’t a counter scheme for the scheme they run. You simply have to outplay them. What is meant by that is exemplified by Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers. The team won three championships from 2000-2002. But in 2004, the team was exploited by a Pistons team that knew how to counter the moves the Lakers made. The Pistons had answers for O’Neal by defending him with Ben Wallace. Kobe Bryant did very well to pick up the slack, but that turned the team into a one dimensional one that never got going (this problem persists for them).

Another sports illustration. Willis McGahee was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the NFL draft. The Bills already had a top quality running back in Travis Henry. The team concept was immediately destabilized. The writing was on the wall for the current guy (Henry) and the next guy, although not asking for this situation, must now prove he was worth jettisoning the incumbent, plus the lost opportunity cost of drafting a player of need. McGahee, in his first action, did prove very good. But that wasn’t enough. To compensate for being the replacement, he had to verbalize his confidence. That outspokenness isn’t a current trademark of the Buffalo Bills. It is a blue collar town who expect people to perform and to then by modest about it. And if you weren’t modest, then the team better be winning. McGahee wasn’t modest, once boasting that he was the best running back in the NFL. The team wasn’t winning either. The situation wasn’t good for the team or McGahee. He needed to be traded and the Baltimore Ravens agreed to a deal. Now McGahee can just perform without having to compensate for a player that shouldn’t have been replaced or a team winning or losing based primarily on his feet. He can just be part of the team.

So  that is a long winded way of saying that there are many more business examples of Willis McGahee than there are of The San Antonio Spurs. Since the world is getting more and more competitive, being a good team is far more important than having five standout performers. Eventually a team like the Spurs is going to come along and maybe they don’t win every year, they will win often.

So how do we ensure that the team is gelling?

A) Share a common goal – Profits in a quarter or sales in a year or something like that.
Enable the members of the team to do their parts – What I mean by this is not everyone has to be a lead salesman. Sometimes, you will need someone with experience to sit a younger contributor down and mentor/coach them. These sessions might even be just sharing a joke or asking how the weekend went. It must be non threating.
C) Make sure everyone on the team performs, at least once, the job of their teammates – This might be the person that is usually leading to take a back
seat so that someone trying to prove them self can take a stab at it and then whole heartily striving for their success.
D) Acknowledge the effort based accomplishments – Make these synonymous to a secret code. Make it seem like every time someone achieves one of these, the group celebrates it as if they just found a new and faster way to work.
E) Don’t create unnecessary drama – The team must trust each other and when that is present, there isn’t any reason to disrupt it. Additions or subtractions at this point should be minimal and apparent to the team as a need.

You do these five activities and the team will come together more often than not. You should see steady wins and no clear means for countering by your competition.

About benleeson
My name is Ben Leeson. I currently work for a large financial company in IT. I went to school at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in HR. Professor William Brown taught me and I enjoyed his classes; even acquiring an appreciation for just about all things HR. I didn’t pursue a job in that field after college but I’ve kept up with it. This blog will further my fascination with all things HR. I hope to grow my knowledge of the area through thoughtful writings and spirited feedback. I will attempt to have a fairly routine style so anyone reading can come to expect certain segments. Please excuse my incorrect grammar and occasional misspelling.

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